A drawing on of the attendees at my last FEE Seminar talk made.
1) Creating Opportunities 101
I’m asked often about how to get an interesting, exciting career. Call me too particular, but I think the question is all wrong. A great career is not “gotten.” It’s created. You’re rarely going to find a job that fulfills your desire to speak Mandarin, work with 8th century choral church music, and make a lot of money. I won’t say it’s impossible to have a career like that, but you’ll need to build it yourself.
So point number 1 is the flip your perspective. Stop looking for people to create the perfect job for you because it probably doesn’t exist. Create your own job around your interests that solves the needs and problems of others.
The good news is that this is easier than it seems. It’s often as simple as asking and never more complicated than developing a solid value proposition.
When I was a student one of the things I really wanted was to be a public speaker. And I thought the path was to wait and wait and wait until you got invites and that could only happen when you were much older.
Why wait though? You can land yourself a speaking slot this month if you want. Find a meetup group or a campus club or a small conference and send them an email with your talk proposal. People in the real world are desperate to find other people who can make their lives easier. I got my first few speaking opportunities this way and was able to start doing this much earlier than I’d previously thought.
Thus the question is really not “what jobs are available?” or “what jobs am I qualified for?” but “what job can I create for myself?”
2) Compound career interest
I think the financial term “compound interest” works well when we’re thinking about our careers too.
The person who starts working at 17 has an easier time than the person who starts at 25 even if the 25 year old works harder and smarter. He’s been building up career capital over the last 8 years in the form of skills, experiences, self knowledge, network, his personal brand, and his portfolio. These things have a weird way to compound over time.
The most clear examples I can give are from my own life. Every year it seems I experience a doubling in the number of client opportunities I’m given, the number of interesting people I connect with, the number of blog readers I have, the number of speaking invites I have, and the amount of travel I get to do.
It would be difficult for my clone to catch himself now if he were just now graduating college and trying to start his career. I like to joke that I wish I had started working when I was in elementary school.
So the best advice I can give is to start now.
There are many people who, at various times in my life, have served as mentors for me. I’ve only met a small fraction of them though and I don’t think you need to meet a person, or that they even need to be alive, to serve as a mentor. I’m actually biased against meeting people in person because it lends itself to wasting time.
Here are a few mentors of mine: Ayn Rand, Tim Ferriss, Nathaniel Branden, Peter Thiel.
I’ve never met them and two of them are dead, but so much of their material is public. I can read every book and article Ayn Rand ever wrote. I can read old forums where people discuss in person meetings with her. I can listen to her talks and watch her TV appearances. And then I can start developing questions — what was their childhood like? What was their career path like? When did they know they wanted to be X? How did they accomplish Y? Did they ever have doubts? Struggles? How did they interact with people? The goal here is to learn how to think and act like them and then to use it in your daily life.
So just find some people you admire and consume everything they ever wrote or did and everything ever written or recorded about them until you no longer find it valuable and then move on.
1) Making the Moral Case for Freedom
This is not an absolute rule in the sense that I mean economic arguments and other pro-liberty cases aren’t important, but they are not a substitute for more foundational arguments.
As Ayn Rand wrote in a letter to Leonard Read while he was planning the launch of FEE,
People are not embracing collectivism because they have accepted bad economics. They are accepting bad economics because they have embraced collectivism….you cannot destroy the cause by fighting the effect.
And for an illustration of the importance of moral arguments in creating our understanding of what it means to be “free,” just observe the calls from the Bleeding Heart Libertarians for Universal Basic Income Guarantees or the sneering “left libertarians” who once ran significant parts of Students for Liberty and endorsed openly show trials, redistribution, and prison sentences for people who “slut shamed.” 
We don’t need to agree on everything, but my advice to you is to be wary of libertarians promoting collectivist or altruist moral views. They are not your allies. And to those of you who do, check your premises.
2) Small tent radicalism
Over the last few years the libertarian movement has seen an increasing number of calls for a more open tent — this takes the form of the former SFL President stating that anyone can be a libertarian regardless of your views or influential activists saying certain libertarian topics should not be discussed because they might alienate or offend certain groups and unity is more important than ideological purity.
For the record, I disagree with this entirely. I do not believe you can spread ideas long term by stealth. I do not believe you can trick people into being free.
A lesson I learned from Isaac Morehouse early on at my time at Praxis is that knowing who our product is NOT for is equally important as knowing who our product is for. And in spreading ideas I think this holds true as well. There are certain belief systems, certain ways of life, and certain cultures that are incompatible with a free society and we ought to treat them with ridicule and contempt, not open our arms to them so that we can tell our donors that we had more conference attendees.
If you look at the history of successful movements, and of successful startups incidentally, they were almost always led by a relatively small group of unyielding, uncompromising radicals. These people want controversial, dangerous, daring ideas, not watered down platitudes that anyone and everyone can accept.
I’ve seen a downward trend since my first conference years ago — there is less and less energy and excitement among the young people. I don’t blame them. They’ve been taught that energy and enthusiasm is a sign of close mindedness, arrogance and soft bigotry. Fight this. Be a radical for liberty and a radical for capitalism. Don’t apologize, don’t appease, and don’t back down. 
 I don’t exaggerate, all of this and more has happened during my time in the liberty movement.
 See “The Anatomy of Compromise” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand